Article/Publication Details

Negative Anthropology? Extermination as the Starting Point of the Reconsideration of Philosophical Anthropology

(Original title: Negatívna antropológia? Vyhladzovanie ako východisko premyslenia filozofickej antropológie)
Filozofia, 2018, vol. 73, No 1, pp. 51-62.
Language: Slovak
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Negative anthropology attempts to describe the human being on the basis of the concrete historical project of his annihilation. The project is connected to a new organization of work, whose exemplar can be seen in extermination camps, but which continues in a diluted form in liberal democracy: it relies on making the working beings invisible, letting them disappear. What is behind this mechanism of making invisible? In every community, in every people, this concerns the relation of the governing “whole” and the governed part. The governed, excluded part provides for the others and is the condition of possibility of the whole; this condition, however, remains hidden, unnoticed. This violent origin must remain hidden in order for the community to endure. The issue is not only the subjugation of the governed by those who govern. Also, those who govern are dependent on the governed, time and again they perceive the desire for autonomy. If they cannot sublimate it, then they can only hate the dependence with all the forms of the other who remind them of it. However, it is the other that can show also the way out of violence.


Conditions of possibility, Extermination, Hiddenness, Invisibility, Negative anthropology, Organization of work, The governed, The governing, The Other

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